US-Israel Relationship

At CUFI, we believe a strong, secure, and sovereign Israel is key to a strong and secure United States. Israel needs America, and America needs Israel. We are two nations with shared values, defending the same principles, and thus engaged in the same fight against common enemies. On May 14, 1948, the US was the first country to recognize the nascent State of Israel just eleven minutes after Israel declared its independence. Since then, the US has been a friend to Israel, our most critical ally in the Middle East. One of CUFI’s core concerns is to shape and strengthen the US-Israel relationship to the safety and security of both our nations.

US-Israel Relationship

Senators Are Calling For A US-Israel Working Group, And It Could Save Lives

03/01/2021

Eyeing the growing military technology challenge from great power competitors, four members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter Feb. 24 to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, urging him to stand up a U.S.-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group, or OTWG. The working group authorized in the annual defense bill is…

US-Israel Relationship

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks With President Joe Biden

02/18/2021

US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone late on Wednesday, nearly a month after Biden entered office.

Netanyahu was the first leader in the Middle East to get a call from Biden. The “warm and friendly” conversation lasted for nearly an hour, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“The two…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel Authorizes $9 Billion Deal With Washington To Boost Air Force

02/07/2021

Decision comes in contrast to the Finance Ministry that opposed the move

Israel’s Security Cabinet approved Sunday the budget to boost the country’s Air Force by procuring warplanes, refueling planes and helicopters from the United States.

The budget, worth nine billion dollars of US aid money, was approved after a deliberation…

US-Israel Relationship

US Senate Okays Keeping Embassy In Jerusalem Permanently, In Vote Of 97 To 3

02/05/2021

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to keep the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, with only three senators voting against establishing funding to maintain the diplomatic mission.

In a move welcomed by Israel and bitterly opposed by the Palestinians, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel, US Launch Joint Air Defense Exercise ‘Juniper Falcon’

02/04/2021
“The exercise is designed to improve interoperability between the armies of the two countries”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the United States European Command (EUCOM) this week launched a joint air defense exercise, dubbed “Juniper Falcon,” focused on the threat from ballistic missile attacks, the two armies announced…

US-Israel Relationship

Israeli Defense Minister Gantz Meets With U.S. CENTCOM Commander McKenzie

01/29/2021

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Commander of the United States Central Command, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr. on Friday in Tel Aviv.

This was the first meeting between the two since the announcement that US military overview of Israel would be moved to CENTCOM earlier this month.

Gantz told McKenzie that now, as part…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel Allows U.S. To Deploy Iron Dome Missile Defense In The Gulf

01/25/2021

The United States is expected to soon begin deploying Iron Dome missile interceptor batteries, one of the jewels of Israel’s arms manufacturing industry, in its bases in the Gulf States, according to security officials.

This comes against the backdrop of the Abraham Accords between Israel and two Gulf States, the United Arab…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel’s UN Envoy Steps Into Role Of US Ambassador

01/21/2021

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Thursday assumed the role of ambassador to the United States, taking over from Ron Dermer, who held the position for the past seven years.

This is the first time in 50 years that an Israeli diplomat has held both positions.

Erdan takes office at a particularly…

US-Israel Relationship

Pentagon Moves Israel Into Central Command To Boost Cooperation With Arab States

01/16/2021

With a nod to Israel’s increasingly normalized relations with the Arab world, the Pentagon is reorganizing its global command structure to include the Jewish state in the military sphere managed by US Central Command, which includes other Middle East countries.

The move will allow for greater collaboration against Iran, the…

US-Israel Relationship

Jerusalem Approves Expanded US Embassy

01/13/2021

The Jerusalem Municipality’s Building and Planning committee approved plans for a new US embassy building in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion called it a “historic and exciting moment,” and that he thinks it will inspire other countries to move to the capital.

“After two years, we’re thrilled the local…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel’s Covid-19 Vaccinations Hold Lessons For U.S.

01/11/2021

Israel has rolled out the fastest Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the world, inoculating 20% of its population in three weeks. The small country—with roughly nine million people, about the same as New York City—now aims to inoculate the majority of its population by March.

While Israel’s vaccination campaign is relatively simple…

US-Israel Relationship

Israeli Defense System Delivered To US Army To Shield Abrams Tank

01/06/2021

A new defense system for armored vehicles, developed in part by a top Israeli defense company, was delivered in full to the US Army on Wednesday, according to an American contractor.

The Trophy Active Protection System (APS) was jointly developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its US partner Leonardo DRS, which…

US-Israel Relationship

Tel Aviv Municipality To Light Up With US Flag Following Capitol Unrest

01/07/2021

The Tel Aviv municipality building will light up with the colors of the US flag following the riot and invasion of the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, Tel Aviv Mayor and Israelis Party leader Ron Huldai announced on Thursday morning.

“Tonight, we will light up the municipality building with the US flag to strengthen and…

US-Israel Relationship

Israeli Defense Ministry Completes Iron Dome Delivery To The US Army

01/03/2021

Israel delivered the second of two Iron Dome defense system batteries to the US Army over the weekend, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.

The move was carried out by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), a division in the ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D).

The batteries will be…

US-Israel Relationship

First American Woman Graduates Israeli Army’s Pilot Course

12/31/2020

Boston native Lt. O (whose full name cannot be disclosed) recently made history as the first American woman to graduate the prestigious Israel Air Force pilot course.

Lt. O finished the three-year course as a flight engineer. She joins the ranks of the small number of women who have completed the course in the 25 years it has…

US-Israel Relationship

Top US Commander Stops In Israel On World Tour, Amid Lingering Iran Tensions

12/18/2020

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stopped in Israel on Thursday during a whirlwind tour of the region, to discuss the threats from Iran facing the Jewish state.

During his two-day visit, Milley met first with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi on Thursday night at military headquarters in Tel Aviv, along with a…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel, US Successfully Complete Series Of Advanced Version David’s Sling Missile Tests

12/15/2020
Iron Dome system upgrade not only includes short-range rockets and mortars but also drones, cruise missiles.

Israel’s Defense Ministry in conjunction with the United States Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) announced Tuesday a successful series of intercept tests of an advanced version of the David’s Sling Weapon System.
The Israel…

US-Israel Relationship

Congress Passes 2021 Defense Funding Bill, Including $3.3 Billion In Aid To Israel

12/11/2020

The Senate on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2021, a massive bill which provides $740 billion in funding for a range of defense-related issues for the next fiscal year, including at least $3.3 billion that will go to Israel security assistance.

The Senate voted 84 to 13 in favor of the NDAA. The…